One year ago, New York Hospital Queens (NYHQ) opened the Outpatient Parenteral Antibiotic Therapy (OPAT) Unit as an alternative treatment option for patients who are healthy enough to be discharged from the hospital but need to continue receiving once-daily intravenous antibiotics.
The unit treated more than 300 patients in its first year without any intravenous-related complications.
"Our unit is a unique asset to the community. Patients no longer need to spend days or weeks at the hospital to receive IV treatments. They can live in the comfort of their own home and visit NYHQ for an hour each day to receive treatment and, in many instances, can avoid hospitalization altogether," said Sorana Segal-Maurer, M.D., director, Infectious Diseases Section.
Here is how it works: Case managers assist inpatients to transition to the outpatient setting. Once discharged, patients return each day to receive intravenous antibiotics (or other treatments) administered by specialized infusion unit nursing staff. The unit is supervised by physicians from the Infectious Diseases Section who meet with patients and ensure the infusion treatment is effective.
Intravenous access is gained either via peripheral IV catheters or peripherally inserted central catheters (PICC) and can be inserted on-site by the trained IV team. Benefits may include enabling a patient to be discharged more efficiently and have a shorter hospital stay.
The unit is also more convenient for patients who do not need to enter a rehabilitation facility and who do not wish to administer intravenous antibiotics at home. The unit also provides other intravenous treatment options, including treatment for dehydration, anemia, and osteoporosis.
The OPAT unit is open seven days a week, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The hospital accepts direct referrals from doctors' offices, community clinics and other hospitals that do not offer this service.
For more information or to refer a patient, call 718-670-2289.